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AWA 2013: The winners, the stars, the glamour

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So the Asian Women of Achievement awards ceremony is over for another year. 

Held in association with RBS, the 2013 awards will live long in the memory, and for many, many reasons:

  • The winners’ speeches: tears flowed, winners and judges hugged, families were celebrated. It was an evening of high emotion, with moving speeches throughout. Special mentions must go to Accenture’s “Young Achiever” Sanju Pal for a fabulous moment of high emotion, though “Sport” winner Monica Thandi and “Entrepreneur” Sipra Deb (who remembered to thank her bank!) get special mentions.
  • The sheer glamour. Check out the event photos now.
  • Keep it in the family: the 2013 awards featured two sisters, Lolita and Reeta Chakrabarti, competing in two categories, for Arts & Culture and the Media. Author and playwright Lolita was a joint winner with Shalini Bhalla, Creative Director and Founder, Just Jhoom! while sister Reeta (one of the BBC’s top correspondents) was just pipped in the Media category.
  • The “peacocks”: BBC London News’ Riz Lateef, who presented the awards, coined the line of the night when describing some of the awards’ leading men, many resplendent in Indian outfits, as “peacocks”. The men strutted with pride.
  • The presenters: it’s not many awards ceremonies that boast Cherie Blair, Princess Badiya Bint El-Hassan (AWA patrons), Culture Secretary Maria Miller, Deputy Prime Minister’s wife Miriam Gonzalez-Bunster, Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson among VIP presenters. All brought glamour and warm words to the event, as reported in today’s Daily Mail.
  • The coverage: the 2013 awards were buzzing with media interest. As well as the Daily Mail, the London Evening Standard talked Angelina Jolie with guests; City AM talked Blair-Booth with Cherie Booth; ITV News interviewed Entrepreneur candidate Shaheen Bhattia about her community activities in Essex. Stylist covered the Sweet Mandarin sisters Helen and Lisa Tse. And the BBC talked to candidate Raj Bhamber. 
  • Keep it in the family strike two: for the first time in the awards’ history, a mother and daughter were going for a double-winning act. Asha Khemka, Principal and Chief Executive of West Nottinghamshire College, is a former winner in the Professional category. This year, her daughter Shalini, CEO of E2Exchange, was a finalist for Entrepreneur of the year.
  • The F-Type: the hotly anticipated new Jaguar F-Type was unveiled at the London Hilton, alongside a stunning Range Rover Evoque. Style, achievement, precision engineering, the Asian Women of Achievement awards have them all…

The Asian Women of Achievement awards were created by the food guru and entrepreneur Pinky Lilani OBE, and are hosted by Caspian Media and Real Business. Held in association with RBS, the awards are also supported by Asda, Aviva, British Airways, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Reed Smith, MCM, MITIE Group, Jaguar Land Rover, Sodexo, Visa Europe, The Independent on Sunday, Said Business School.

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